Microsoft Software Licensing Group

microsoft2Microsoft Corporation’s Software Licensing Group (MSLI) is responsible for managing all aspects of licensing of Microsoft software products in North America. The group is headquartered in Reno, NV

Challenges

MSLI managers were concerned when customers reported that Microsoft’s licensing program agreements were cumbersome and difficult to work with. These agreements are lengthy documents containing large amounts of legal terminology. Customers, who are primarily channel partners, complained of unnecessary complexity, inconsistent language and poor organization.

These issues resulted in misunderstandings that threatened to impact Microsoft’s business relationships with its channel partners. They also impeded the efficiency of MSLI teams dedicated to revising and updating the licensing program agreements, thus increasing costs.

Solution

Information Mapping’s Professional Services consultants have worked with MSLI staff to reconstruct the licensing program agreements. Services have included

  • creating an optimal Information Architecture for all agreements designing specific licensing program agreements
  • developing content using Information Mapping’s structured authoring approach to reduce complexity and enhance ease of use, with a focus on identifying common content for reuse, and
  • developing tagging conventions to facilitate information storage and retrieval via an MSLI portal.

Results

Feedback from customers as well as MSLI staff who have worked with the newly reconstructed licensing program agreements has been overwhelmingly positive. The new agreements represent a major improvement over the old: they are well organized, user-focused and easy to navigate. MSLI reports that customers’ misunderstandings have been reduced significantly, and that updating and revising the agreements takes far less time and effort.

This engagement was intended to address only the North American (English speaking) licensing program agreements, but based on the highly positive reports from customers and staff, Microsoft is considering additional work with Information Mapping, Inc. to address similar agreements in other areas of its global market.